Stay Healthier On The Plane

A couple on a planeAn estimated 268 million African American passengers will travel aboard U.S. airliners this year, many of which will be traveling to their family reunions, often enduring delays and increasingly crowded planes—and perhaps even a seat next to someone who is a sneezer or cougher.

So, what can travelers do to stay well? Plenty, say experts. Here are some tips:

The Problem: Dry Cabin Air

The low humidity in airplane cabins tends to dry out the sensitive mucus membranes in the upper airways where viruses and bacteria can take hold.

What To Do:

• Keep drinking (healthy beverages, of course). Ideally, have 8 ounces of water or fruit juice for each hour of your trip.
• Stick to bottled or canned water and juices, and limit alcohol or caffeinated drinks, which can be dehydrating.
• Consider skipping drinks that may be made from airline tap water, such as coffee or tea.

• Also, ask for your drinks without ice when traveling from countries where water safety is questionable.

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The Top 12 Healthy Travel Tips

A blue gym bagWe know you’re trying to relax and have a good time, but unfortunately, being on vacation is not an excuse to eat crazy, avoid being active and in general be a potential health disaster.

There are some fun and simple ways to enjoy your vacation…without sacrificing your health.

1. Be a picky eater. Airline and roadside-diner food can be a healthy diet destroyer. Also, abandon the too-popular myth that being away from home gives you the right to be on vacation from being healthy.

2. Bring your workout with you. If where you’re staying doesn’t have a gym (or if you simply prefer to do your own thing), pack some resistance bands, a jump rope, even a workout DVD. If necessary, write down a few key moves you can do in your room, like a few yoga/Pilates poses or your own quick circuit training routine, such as a series of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats, crunches, etc.

3. Arrive earlier than necessary. If possible, try to schedule your flight to arrive a few hours earlier than you absolutely must be there. This way, you can check in, put on some running/walking shoes and get a breath of fresh air…this is also a great way to explore a new city.

4. Set goals. Each time you travel, decide how many days you’ll work out during your trip. It forces you to plan your days and limits excuses once you get there.

5. Take advantage of your gym membership. Many gym chains participate in what’s called a passport program that allows you to work out at hundreds of clubs at no cost or for a nominal fee. Before I leave home, go to your gym’s website (or give them a call) and research whether or not there’s a gym close to where you’ll be staying.

6. Buy a new outfit. Something about new clothes inspires people to want to work hard to look good in them (especially if those new clothes include swim attire).